While we often buy tickets to see our favorite musicians, festivals offer the perfect opportunity to broaden our music schemas and fall in love with new artists. Festivals feature both the biggest names in music (and on the lineup) and artists that are on the brink of greatness (and just a little bit further down the poster). Here are our picks for up-and-coming artists that you might have missed if we had not looked at the lineup from the bottom, up!
Spencer Ludwig does it all. He is a singer, he is a dancer and he is a trumpeter. His sound could be described as poppy-funk that is super danceable. In 2012, he toured with Capital Cities, and he has also appeared alongside other artists, such as Foster the People, St. Lucia and Fitz & the Tantrums. Earlier this year, he opened for rising pop star, Bebe Rexha. Ludwig is full of star quality, and his music radiates fun. With Ludwig’s exuberant energy and funky trumpet, it is impossible not to dance.
Electro-pop duo, CAPYAC, bring a funk-infused dance party whenever they perform. The band is known to create a party-like atmosphere during their performances, complete with costumes, balloons and other surprise props. Since forming CAPYAC, Delwin Campbell and Eric Peana have toured consistently throughout the United States and at various venues in Austin, their hometown.
While the Austin scene is dominated with indie-rock music, Mélat Kassa breaks the norm with her smooth, passionate R&B. Kassa is from the Austin area, and she attended Cedar Park High School and the University of Texas. However, her family immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia. This identity can be seen within her artistry, especially in the song “Negn (I am),” which is sung entirely in Amharic.
Cara, Troy and Luv Bishop combine aspects of electronic, hip hop, R&B and pop music to create wavy, mellow grooves, and they keep it all in the family. Each sibling is bursting with talent. Troy’s beats are creative and versatile. Luv’s rapping is skilled and purposeful. And, Cara’s vocals are silky and sweet. The siblings performed on JamBarge earlier this year, and they are massive force in the Austin hiphop scene.
Okey Dokey’s debut album, “Love You, Mean It” is a southern, psych-rock dream. Although the band is officially the brainchild of frontman Aaron Martin and guitarist Johny Fisher, they brought an assortment of other musicians for the album, including members of Houndmouth and Desert Noises. The Nashville-based duo spent part of the summer touring, and they performed at Stubb’s in August. Be sure to catch their return to Austin at ACL Weekend Two.
It’s hard to imagine that the mellow, indie-rock tunes of Day Wave were created by one person. Day Wave is truly Jackson Philips’ baby. In fact, he plays every instrument necessary to the production of Day Wave’s songs. Philips cites his new setting of Oakland, California as inspiration for the project. This is translated through prominent guitar riffs and delicate vocals, which create a nostalgic, beach-y feeling.
MUNA is a queer-identifying, all-female trio that combines atmospheric pop with meaningful lyrics. Katie Gavin, Josette Maskin and Naomi McPherson met at the University of Southern California and began making music in their dorm rooms. Now, they are bringing their inclusive songs to massive crowds around while on tour with Harry Styles. They will be in Austin both weekends of ACL, and they will be performing at ACL Live with Styles on October 11.
Often described as post-punk, Ought is a Montreal-based quartet bursting with epiphany, energy and existentialism. Juxtaposition is a big part of Ought’s music, especially on their sophomore album, “Sun Coming Down.” Vocalist Tim Darcy often comes across as dry and sarcastic. Yet, the melodies and rhythms can sound optimistic. By combining seriousness with lightness, Ought produces meaningful, interesting music.
Reggae-Rock group, Raging Fyah, are bringing their island grooves over to the United States.Raging Fyah’s celebrated brand of reggae focuses on various topics, from personal significance to widespread issues. The band is from Jamaica, but their reach extends across the globe. They have toured in Europe, Siberia and even New Caledonia, a small island in the South Pacific. Now, Raging Fyah are breaking into the American scene, which is primarily dominated by other Americans.